This NGO in Vellore feeds children during the pandemic, takes classes

Hope House has been feeding 150 children and also engaging them academically, as their parents go out for work and schools are closed

In a bid to take care of children from marginalised communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, a trust has been feeding 150 children in Vellore district who are left alone at home, as schools are closed and their parents go in search of work. They have also been conducting academic activities to keep them engaged.

The Hope House, is an NGO working for children who are in need of care and protection since 2005. They run government-recognised homes to provide institutional care for children. “Apart from this, we also provide non-institutional care. From last year, we started identifying underprivileged families where children were struggling for food as their parents are unemployed. As schools are closed, they are unable to benefit from the Noon Meal Scheme,” said Ruby Nakka, director of the NGO, who is a physiotherapist who passed out of CMC, Vellore, in 1989.

The Trust feeds 150 children in four parts of Vellore – near Karigiri hospital, Suryakulam, a Rajasthani Community in front of VIT University and Sugar Mill. “Last year, we provided breakfast, lunch and morning and evening snacks. But this year due to lack of resources, we are providing only lunch and snacks. However we ensure they are given food at least once a day,” said N. Subramani, home superintendent of the NGO.

Besides, to keep the children engaged, the staff of the NGO also take classes. “We teach the basics of letters, numbers, Thirukural, arts and crafts and music. However, during the recent complete lockdown, we could not as there were strict travel restrictions. But we will resume soon and will continue doing it till school reopens,” explained Mr. Ruby Nakka.

Dhara Singh, from Rajasthan whose eight-year-old child is being given food by the trust, said that it was a very helpful move. “We sell plastic items on the train. Since last year we have been struggling to make ends meet. I also want to educate my eight-year-old son and the Trust has offered to help,” he said.

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